Kamala Harris praised her own sharp debate swipe skills in a comment that hit an awkward note considering her famous debate attack at her running mate Joe Biden in 2019.
During a rapid-fire section of an interview streamed during the NAACP National Convention on Friday, the California senator and Democratic vice presidential nominee was asked: “Who threw the best shade during the Democratic primary debates?”
Harris paused before answering with a laugh, “Besides myself?”
Q: Who threw the best shade at the Democratic primary debates?
Kamala Harris: “… Besides myself?” pic.twitter.com/DUeuHyGYaV
— Emily Larsen (@emilyelarsen) September 25, 2020
Harris famously attacked former Vice President Joe Biden, her now-running mate, in the first primary debate last summer.
She criticized Biden’s work with segregationist senators in the 1970s to oppose federally mandated integration busing, noting that she participated in an integration busing program.
“I do not believe you are a racist,” Harris said in the debate to Biden. “It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country.”
She continued, “It was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. That little girl was me.”
The California senator did not specify which debate moment of hers she thought demonstrated throwing the best “shade.”
Harris’s attack on Biden was considered to be a strike against her while Biden was deciding on a running mate, which hit harder given her professional friendship with Biden’s late son Beau.
“Our son, Beau, spoke so highly of her and, you know, and how great she was. And not that she isn’t, I’m not saying that. But it was just like a punch to the gut. It was a little unexpected,” former second lady Jill Biden said of the attack earlier this summer.
The California senator has brushed off questions about how she could endorse and run on a ticket with Joe Biden after such an attack.
“That’s politics,” she reportedly said this summer.
“It was a debate!” she said on The Late Show.
Harris also endured some sharp attacks herself from Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
Gabbard, in one debate, brought up Harris’s prosecutorial record, saying that Harris jailed people for marijuana offenses, denied a new DNA test for a man on death row believed by many to be wrongfully convicted (which Harris later said she feels awful about but had no direct role in), and sought to increase cash bail when she was San Francisco’s district attorney (though she now supports eliminating cash bail).
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